Amsterdam football club Ajax has come in for criticism after flying four players back from a training camp by private jet, even though they had tested positive for coronavirus.
The AD reported on Friday that the club sent the four on a separate flight to the rest of the squad, even though this was against the rules.
The club has not said which players were diagnosed with the virus or if they are now in quarantine. The club went to Portugal earlier this week to prepare for the second half of the season.
However, under current coronavirus rules, anyone who tests positive for the virus in Portugal should go into quarantine immediately and may only travel once they have a negative test result. Dutch rules too state people may not fly if they have the virus.
Ajax said in a short website statement that everyone in the 60-strong group had tested negative for coronavirus shortly before leaving the Netherlands. The club has not given an explanation for the decision to fly infected players home.
However, health minister Hugo de Jonge said everyone must stick to the rules in the country where they are. ‘And that goes for sports men and women to,’ he said.
Several other clubs have been caught out in their preparations for the second half of the season by coronavirus.
Arnhem football club Vitesse was hit by several positive tests at its training camp in Portugal but opted to leave the players behind. ‘We hope they can return as quickly as possible,’ a club spokesman said. NEC, in Spain, opted to return home even though no players were infected, the Telegraaf reported.
Earlier, PSV cancelled its training camp in Spain after several players tested positive for the virus in Eindhoven. Feyenoord of Rotterdam also scrapped its plans to train abroad.
AZ, currently in Valencia, has no plans as yet to return to the Netherlands, the Telegraaf said.
The second half of the season starts next weekend. Ajax, currently second to PSV by one point in the Eredivise, are due to meet Utrecht on Sunday. Utrecht, meanwhile, has cancelled a friendly match as a precaution.
Feyenoord and Vitesse, currently third and fourth in the Eredivisie, meet each other on Saturday.
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